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Determine jurisdiction and move forward with your custody case

Before you can file child custody documents and request a trial in New Hampshire, you need to make sure the state has jurisdiction. The state needs to be your child's home state at the time of the custody proceeding or must have been the child's home within six months beforehand if he or she was removed by a parent claiming custody while the other parent stayed in the state.

It must be shown that New Hampshire's courts are the right courts to choose because the child and parents have a connection to the state. Additionally, you'll need to show that there is substantial evidence of the child's personal relationships, training, care and protection within the state. If the child is in the state, New Hampshire law typically applies automatically.

Once you know that New Hampshire has jurisdiction over your child custody case, you should file a parenting petition as planned. This petition can be filed by an individual or by both parents. A joint parenting plan, which is filed by both parents, can eliminate some legal costs and paperwork. An individual parenting petition must be filed with the court, and then the other parent has to be notified of the action.

After this is completed, you should collect evidence to support your child custody case and claims. Include financial information, documentation about your child's care and other requested documents. You'll need to appear in court several times, which is something your attorney can help you through. Our website has more information on the next steps after you file a parenting plan with the state.

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